The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

14 January 2008

NYT Reveals Cozy Ties Between Governor, Air America President

GREEN'S GREEN

Air America President Pockets Gov's $upport







Given its battered public image, wouldn't Air America Radio endevor to boost its credibility, rather than cozy up to unpopular partisan politicians?

Instead, the liberal talk network finds itself under a new cloud, thanks to "AAR 2.0" President Mark Green's ties to wildly disliked New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. So far, how the story has played out is as fascinating as the ethical questions that have been raised.

At a time when onetime Air America investor George Soros is also under fire for bankrolling a report that claimed massive civilian casualties in Iraq, one might recognize a pattern of behavior here.

Though not nearly as serious as Air America's previous Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club scandal, where taxpayer funds intended for an inner- city charity were instead diverted to the network, Green's relationship with Spitzer has somehow managed to catch the attention of the über- partisan New York Times:


(Danny Hakim) ALBANY — Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his parents recently spent nearly $50,000 to help pay off the campaign debts of Mark Green, who ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 2006 and is today one of the governor’s vocal supporters.

The donations, about $16,000 each from the governor, his mother and father in September, according to new campaign finance filings, exceed the $10,000 limit that Mr. Spitzer voluntarily placed on donations to his own campaign. But they are well within legal contribution limits in New York.

“The governor and his family helped Mark because he is a close personal friend, but they also have tremendous respect for his record of leadership and his work as a vocal advocate for social justice and increased public participation in government,” said Errol Cockfield, the governor’s press secretary.

Mr. Cockfield said the governor’s voluntary contribution limit was not relevant because Mr. Green was not running for office, just clearing a debt.

Mr. Green said that he and the governor “have been friends for years, and this is what friends do for each other.” He said there was nothing untoward about accepting donations from Mr. Spitzer on the one hand and speaking out in support of him on the other.

“We’re friends and admirers, therefore we help each other out politically,” he added. “Now that he’s the governor and I’m not, it’s very thoughtful and I appreciate that he would help me retire a debt.”

The contributions were the latest exchange of political largess between the Green and Spitzer families. Mr. Green’s older brother and pre-eminent political backer, the Manhattan real estate developer Stephen L. Green, donated $135,000 to the governor’s election campaign in 2006.

Why didn’t Stephen Green bail out his brother?

“He can’t help retire the debt because he was so generous before,” Mark Green said. Indeed, the elder Green and his wife donated $270,000 to his brother’s campaign, either directly or through businesses they control. Mark Green received an additional $200,000 from other family members.

“It’s a family matter, but trust me on this, Steve was so generous, as a matter of law, he cannot help retire the final debt.” Asked whether his brother had reached the legal contribution limits for his businesses, Mr. Green would not elaborate further.

During the 2006 campaign, the business donations were criticized by government watchdog groups, which said the contributions were a symptom of the loopholes in state campaign finance laws that allow wealthy businesspeople to exceed spending limits by donating through limited liability companies they control — a tactic used particularly by real estate developers.

Last year, the elder Green bought a controlling stake in Air America Radio, a liberal radio network, and installed his brother as president. Mark Green also has a weekly radio show on the network and interviewed the governor last summer, and he makes regular appearances on NY1’s “Inside City Hall.”


Isn't this funny? For years, conservative talkers have been accused of merely parroting the GOP's talking points and along comes a liberal network to show them how it's done properly! Take money from Spitzer and prop up his regime at a time when others have deserted him:


(NYT, 16 December 2007) Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s polls are looking like a downhill skier’s delight and a politician’s nightmare. Each new survey puts his popularity at a lower point than the one before, with his foes rejoicing as the man once thought most likely to reform Albany skids publicly into failure.

The latest poll from Siena Research Institute shows that even Mr. Spitzer’s fellow Democrats are deserting him, with only one in three saying they want him re-elected in 2010.


Equally fascinating is how this story managed to emerge from the New York Times, which previously looked the other way while Air America mowed over inner- city children to serve "progressive" talk radio's interests. Why the change in newsroom sentiment?

Another sign they're no longer getting the kid glove treatment from the mainstream media is in the Grey Lady's seeming admission that Air America is now a mere toy for billionaire developer Stephan L Green's kid brother to play with until he gets bored and moves on to something else.

So the next time Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly is accused of adopting the GOP's talking points, remind your liberal friends of the way their own talk network is run.


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7 Comments:

  • "At a time when onetime Air America investor George Soros is also under fire for bankrolling a report that claimed massive civilian casualties "That is not considered "under fire" by any degree of rationality.


    "The contributions were the latest exchange of political largess between the Green and Spitzer families. Mr. Green’s older brother and pre-eminent political backer, the Manhattan real estate developer Stephen L. Green, donated $135,000 to the governor’s election campaign in 2006."

    Huge financial transactions between neocon operatives are hardly unusual in America these days, Mark Green is a crypto-neocon operative who has seized control of the Air America brand name, and the article you cite draws no connection to Air America at any rate, so what is your point?


    "But they are well within legal contribution limits in New York."

    Yes, they are.


    "Though not nearly as serious as Air America's previous Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club scandal, where taxpayer funds intended for an inner- city charity were instead diverted to the network..."

    Which is untrue, as Evan Cohen was ANOTHER neocon operative paid to temporarily infiltrate AAR, and, as anyone familiar with the machinations of the Co-Op City apartment complex knows, the so-called "charity" was actually an ethnically cleansed front in a declining ghetto actually used primarily for money laundering.

    It's astonishing to me that you continue to sneak in this thoroughly discredited canard at choice opportunities, believing that anyone but the lunatic wingnut fringe will give a bit of credence to it.


    "Why didn’t Stephen Green bail out his brother?"

    Mark Green hardly needs to be "bailed out" of anything, financially anyway, and "brother" is a relative term with such people.


    "Last year, the elder Green bought a controlling stake in Air America Radio, a liberal radio network..."

    But AAR is not a liberal radio network anymore, and your statement contradicts itself, as the Greens are neocon political operatives.


    "Mark Green also has a weekly radio show on the network..."

    And millions of progressives throughout New York promptly shut their radios off when the first hint of his voice is heard, and those radios stay off, since truth radio is not permitted elsewhere on the dial and the state-controlled and conservative alternatives have found it more profitable to broadcast infomercials these days.

    The so-called "free market" seems to have had an impact on the wingnut and miltard segments, and there's sometimes there's not even anyone on to ridicule anymore.


    "Equally fascinating is how this story managed to emerge from the New York Times, which previously looked the other way while Air America mowed over inner- city children to serve "progressive" talk radio's interests. Why the change in newsroom sentiment?"

    Most likely since there was no story to begin with, since the center served a predominantly white, Jewish clientele in its ascendancy, and the "inner-city children" didn't exist there because those particular "inner-city" parents had better child-care to choose from, and other alternatives that more closely suited their individual needs and standards.

    This is why the money-laundering aspect was able to manifest itself in the first place.


    "...remind your liberal friends of the way their own talk network is run..."

    There is no need to "remind" anyone of anything, because Air America is not a liberal network and certainly not "their network" at any rate.

    It has exactly two syndicated progressive hosts, and WWRL listeners in New York have a decent
    morning alternative to listen to.

    Two syndicated hosts and a listenable hosts do not a "liberal network" (or, as I prefer to define it, truth radio) make.

    Nice try, though.

    By Anonymous hashfanatic, at 14 January, 2008 14:25  

  • Spitzer is not so unpopular anymore, he proposed huge property tax cuts for New Yorkers, and he is slowly gaining popularity again

    I have no use for Green another fake democrat

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 14 January, 2008 15:27  

  • "AAR 2.0" - great description!

    Air America is the gift that just keeps giving. Even the lefties can't support the ongoing fraud and deceit there.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 14 January, 2008 16:04  

  • Hash said
    and those radios stay off, since truth radio is not permitted elsewhere on the dial and the state-controlled and conservative alternatives have found it more profitable to broadcast infomercials these days.


    well, not entirely true, 99.5FM is our local pacifica station, and you can find a lot of truth on their programming, I gave up on AAR, I can not take Randi Rhodes anymore, she forgot about truth telling and instead talks about Obama-clinton-Obama-clinton, what happened to exposing neo-con corruption, failure and destruction. Her show is now a forum for DLC candidates, Im done. Lionel, makes me puke, he barely talks about politics anymore, wastes his show talking about Blues guitarists and drinking!!

    I dislike Richard Bay and his new host "Coz" another duo who instead of reporting, decide to talk about the elections every single day. Bey is a nice guy, but not to politically swift.

    all that leaves is Tom Hartman, and Madow, so yep, 2 progressive hosts are left on AAR.

    and Green, I turn his "clout" garbage off the second it hits the air..... Maloney, AAR is no longer a liberal talk station. They are the DLC talk station, much like WABC is the RNC talk station

    I listen to Pacifica for talk, occasionally NPR for their music and arts programming (love their Sunday morning shows, the game shows and Prarie home campanion) and internet radio "head on radio network, and Alex Jones (might be a Paul supporter, but speaks a lot of truth)
    AAR ignored by real liberals nationwide

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 14 January, 2008 16:46  

  • "99.5FM is our local pacifica station, and you can find a lot of truth on their programming..."

    Except for the outstanding "Democracy Now", I've given up on BAI, largely because of the continuing presence of Father Lucas, one of the most hateful "men of God" I've had the misfortune to hear (mind you, it was Grandpa Al I revered, Karen was always a loser to me...)

    I actually like their salsa and Jeannie's "Liquid Sound Lounge", but not their talk.


    "I can not take Randi Rhodes anymore, she forgot about truth telling and instead talks about Obama-clinton-Obama-clinton, what happened to exposing neo-con corruption, failure and destruction. Her show is now a forum for DLC candidates, Im done."

    Yes, I know, but if AAR has one important show on their roster, it's hers, and I continue to monitor it, in small doses, because I believe it serves an important purpose for its target audience...


    "Lionel, makes me puke, he barely talks about politics anymore, wastes his show talking about Blues guitarists and drinking!!"

    Yep, and he farts on air, is just another Harrison flunkie, and gets "controversial" inconsequential items about various neocon-manufactured outrages in blogs like these, for his trouble.


    "I dislike Richard Bay and his new host "Coz" another duo who instead of reporting, decide to talk about the elections every single day. Bey is a nice guy, but not to politically swift."

    Perhaps, but they are still the most listenable morning show in New York, even though they fixate on race to the nth power...

    Certainly better than the horrible Imus show.


    Hartmann is great but Maddow speaks down to her OWN audience, much less the rabid rightards...the epitome of the snotty intellectual "lib" they always point to...she's also not in radio for the long haul, not that anyone with any sense is, anyway.


    "Maloney, AAR is no longer a liberal talk station. They are the DLC talk station, much like WABC is the RNC talk station..."

    Remember, MOP, that wingnuts cannot differentiate between DLC'ers, the hard left, and liberals. They do not understand that there are entirely different agendas, goals, ideals, and platforms between each.

    They are literally too stupid to understand their enemy, and too lazy to do the work to learn.

    Good job, MOP.

    By Anonymous hashfanatic, at 14 January, 2008 18:29  

  • Alex Jones???? Haaaahahahah! That guy could easily keep the tinfoil business afloat all by himself.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 14 January, 2008 22:41  

  • Really, Brian, this is a lame excuse of a post. Spitzer (and his parents) giving dough to Mark Green is somehow scandalous? Spitzer's looking around at the NY political landscape, and all he sees are enemies: Andy "Evil Eyes" Coumo and Nanny Bloomberg lurk in the shadows, ready to knock his block off come the next election; an enraged Joe Bruno ready to draw buckets of blood before allowing any of Spitzer's initiatives to make their way through the state senate, and Shelly "the Sh*theel" Silver, Cheshire Cat smile in place, sitting in the Assembly and pondering when, exactly, he's gonna slit Spitzer's throat.

    Of course Eliot's gonna give money to Markie... at this point, he needs all the friends he can get.

    By Blogger TC, at 15 January, 2008 10:10  

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